Thursday, October 17, 2013

Game Update 2.5 Class Change Final?

Did you feel that? Did you feel a great disturbance in the Force? As if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror? Well, if you did, it's because something terrible has happened. Bioware has announced the 2.5 Class Changes and some of us feel like we've been shafted. Let's take a look at why. For the full post of class changes, click here.

Note: For your convenience, I have edited the notes to focus only on Operative changes.

Game Update 2.5 Class Changes

Hello there! We here on the Classes & Combat team wanted to take some time to keep players up-to-date on the changes we have planned for the upcoming Game Update 2.5. As always, these are subject to change, and we welcome your feedback. There are quite a few changes to go over, so with no further introduction, let’s dig in!

Imperial Agent

•Increased the damage dealt by Overload Shot.

Overload Shot/Quick Shot was not performing well as an energy dump for Operatives/Scoundrels. Many players preferred to use Rifle Shot/Flurry of Bolts, even when they had available energy for Overload Shot/Quick Shot, because they did not feel that the damage done by Overload Shot/Quick Shot warranted the amount of energy it required. By increasing this ability’s damage, we hope to turn it into the energy dump that it should be – one that actually gets used when Operatives/Scoundrels have some extra energy to burn.

Operatives and Scoundrels
•Operatives and Scoundrels can now be charged and pulled by other players while in cover. For Snipers and Gunslingers, cover remains unchanged.

Operatives and Scoundrels are very slippery, and we never intended for them to continue using cover after choosing to be an Operative/Scoundrel rather than a Sniper/Gunslinger at level 10. However, with the innate cover defenses being provided to Operatives and Scoundrels, we incentivized the use of cover beyond level 10 for them. Some Operatives and Scoundrels picked up on this incentive and used cover to become more survivable than we had intended for them to be.

With this change, we are moving all remaining defensive bonuses granted by cover into the Hold Position passive ability, which Snipers and Gunslingers already have. So while Operatives and Scoundrels will still be able to enter cover to use any abilities that require it, they will no longer gain any defensive bonuses while in cover. For Snipers and Gunslingers, this change has no real, noticeable effect.

And that wraps up our current plans for Game Update 2.5 class changes. We hope you have enjoyed this inside look at class development. Please feel free to let us know what you think about the upcoming changes, and we will be keeping our eye out for good suggestions!

Your Friendly Neighborhood Combat Team

Now, let's focus on the meat of this post. Let's take a gander at that change that truly affects us Operatives directly.
•Increased the damage dealt by Overload Shot.
That's it. So far, after answering the three Scoundrel questions, after being provided feedback by the community on Operative issues, after months of discussion and arguments about Imperial Agent's DPS and Heals balance in comparison to other classes, all we get (for now) is a damage increase in Overload Shot? I can see why the Operative community erupted after this announcement.

How significant is the change anyway? It really needs to be major if the goal is to have us actually use said ability. Fact is, Overload Shot is too expensive for the dps it does. We understand that it's sole purpose is to be used as an energy dump. But, therein lies the problem.

We HAVE NO ENERGY TO DUMP. Sure, every once in a while I find myself using Rifle Shot even at over 60 energy as all my other abilities are on CD, but it's quite rare. And even then, I rather do that than waste energy for subpar damage. We have no numbers given to us, not even a percentage of how large the increase is. So, we can only speculate. And speculation around the community is that the change will still not be significant enough to have us gravitate towards Overload Shot. But, only time will tell.


Help Us Community, You're Our Only Hope

Keep in mind there is no set date for Game Update 2.5. But, it might be sooner than we think.

The next expansion, Galactic Starfighter, has been announced. Though the actual release date has not been given, we can safely assume it's in February. Subscribers get early access starting December 3rd, Preferred get early access on January 14th and Free-To-Play get access on February 4th. This is the base of the assumption.

With that said, we have 4 months until the expansion. So, my guess is that Patch 2.5, if it's the last major patch before the expansion, will be in early December. This gives us 2 months to prepare for it. It also means, we would have about 2 months of updates for the patch from Bioware. So, what's my point?

My point is, the Overload Shot buff is NOT the only change for us Operatives for 2.5. We have about 2 months before its release so it would be absurd that this is the only change. So, what we need to do is, instead of yelling, screaming and complaining about the lackluster of changes, we need to do what Bioware is asking of us and actually provide FEEDBACK on said changes. Believe it or not, these guys actually read the forums and your posts. And the more nonsense is posted, the more turned off they will be in even wanting to read the posts or in leaving constructive criticism about our feedback.

So, do yourself, your fellow players and your class a favor and post your thoughts and feedback in an intelligible and professional manner. Even if it's repetitive. Even if you are regurgitating someone else's thoughts. Repetition is key. If the community as a whole agrees that something is an issue, the odds of it being tackled will increase.

In conclusion, is the current Game Update 2.5 Class Change final? I'm going to say no. And if it is, well, Bioware DID mention that any MAJOR change will be held off for an expansion. Aka, Galactic Starfighter. So, between 2-6 months, we should be where we deserve to be.

UPDATE 10/18/13: Game Update 2.5 Release has been announced to be December 3rd. My assumption was spot on! :D

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